DANBURY, CT – After a pair of tough losses to begin the season on Friday, the Western Connecticut State University rebounded to earn a split on Day Two of the Colonial Invitational. Junior outside hitter Kamari King (East Hartford, CT) – who also earned All-Tournament honors – paced the hosts with a match-high 21 kills en route to a come-from-behind 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 25-12, 15-11) victory over Penn State-Berks. The Colonials would fall in the tournament finale to the Rochester Institute of Technology, 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-22). Wentworth Institute of Technology completed an undefeated run to capture the tournament crown, improving to 4-0 overall.
"We went deeper into our bench than we have in a long time and were pleasantly surprised with the results. We are a young team and have to continue to grow but today was a step in the right direction," said WestConn head coach Don Ferguson following the Invitational.
The Colonials earned a hard-fought victory when they rallied against the Nittany Lions to start the day. After being edged in the third set, 25-23, they stormed back to win the fourth set, 25-12, before completing the rally with a 15-11 win in the fifth. Rookie Nicolina Chenard (Ardsley, NY) chipped in with 11 kills, while junior setter Jenna Skerritt (Wolcott, CT) added a match-high 46 assists for WestConn. Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Horst (Terre Hill, PA) paced Penn State with a team-high 11 kills in the loss on Court One. The simultaneous action on Court Two began with Wentworth downing Simmons College, 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19).
Shortly thereafter, Simmons returned to the floor (Court Two) to breeze past Penn State-Berks, 3-1 (24-26, 26-24, 25-9, 25-10). Meanwhile, back on Court One, Wentworth edged RIT, 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-7). Sophomore outside hitter Leah Rogoz (Woodridge, IL) led the Leopards with 16 floors, while sophomore Claire Quick (Mission Viejo, CA) added 14. Rookie outside hitter Taylor Higgins (Peru, NY) paced the Tigers with a match-high 17 kills in defeat.
Junior outside hitter Sara Taylor (Tonawanda, NY) led RIT with 13 floors, while Higgins chipped in with 12 as they downed the host Colonials to wrap up the tournament.
With the split, WestConn moved to 1-3 overall. The Colonials return to action against visiting non-league foe Farmingdale State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Leah Rogoz – Wentworth – Tournament MVP
Kamari King – WestConn
Claire Quick – Wentworth
Sarah Taylor – RIT
Taylor Higgins – RIT
Morgan Weeg – Simmons
Alexis Horst – Penn State-Berks